The LowDown on the Downtown Throwdown

Get ready, Champaign! This year’s Champaign StreetFest: Downtown Throwdown is hitting Downtown Champaign on Saturday August 3 from 2:00 – 9:00 pm and is gearing up to be the event of the summer. We’re thrilled to give you a sneak peek into what’s in store. From exciting local vendors to delicious eats and vibrant community vibes, here’s your guide to making the most of this year’s festivities.

DOWNTOWN FESTIVAL DISTRICT

Downtown Champaign will also have a Downtown Festival District in place on Saturday August 3 from 2:00 – 9:00 pm The Downtown Festival District allows customers of participating downtown restaurants and bars to purchase and take open containers of alcohol from the licensed premises and consume the beverage in the public right-of-way located within a designated area and limited timeframe. Alcohol must be purchased from a participating downtown business (no bring your own beverage), which will give the patron a City-branded wristband and cup from which the individual can consume their purchased. The boundaries of the festival district can be seen to the right and we will keep you updated on a list of establishments that alcohol can be bought from.

WALNUT ST STAGE : A MUSICAL SAGA IN 4 ACTS

The Champaign StreetFest would not be complete without an incredible lineup of musical acts to keep the energy high and the crowd dancing. Here’s what you can look forward to on the Walnut St Stage:

Headlining StreetFest is the Grammy-winning Rebirth Brass Band. For almost four decades, Rebirth has been stunning fans with a fiery live show and a rich musical catalog. Their trademark sound pays homage to the New Orleans brass band tradition while weaving a tapestry of jazz, funk, soul, R&B, and the sounds from the streets they grew up on. From their legendary 25+ year run of Tuesday nights at the Maple Leaf to stages all over the world, Rebirth is the soundtrack of the Crescent City and her premier musical ambassador. Founded by brothers Phil and Keith Frazier, Rebirth began their career playing on the sidewalks of the French Quarter and quickly landed gigs at second line parades, leading to thousands of shows worldwide. Their unique “soundtrack of New Orleans” has garnered admiration from artists across genres, sharing stages and collaborating with everyone from the Grateful Dead to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Brown, U2, and Trombone Shorty.

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Kicking off the night is local favorite Terminus Victor, a four-piece garage punk band from Urbana, IL. They play psychedelic punk rock with lots of guitar work, melodic vocals, and winding songs. Described as powerful yet approachable, Terminus Victor delivers a beautiful kick in the gut with a heavy and dynamic soundscape of unique rock music. This thunderous trio sounds larger than the sum of its parts and is considered one of the best bands in the land.

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Next up is Larry E. Gates II, a musician, producer, DJ, and video game designer based in Urbana, IL. Known for playing countless shows across the country and sharing stages with big names like RUN THE JEWELS, Chuck Berry, and Rakim, Larry brings a unique and eclectic sound to the festival that you won’t want to miss.

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Modern Drugs follows with a purposeful, hook-laden rock ‘n roll gut punch balanced with a sparkly dose of danceable pop. Their energetic performance is sure to get everyone moving and grooving.

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Prepare your taste buds for the ultimate culinary showdown at the Downtown Throwdown Food Competition! This year’s competition features our beloved local restaurants putting their own spin on the classic hot dog and pasta dishes. Esteemed judges, including Mayor Feinen, Tony from Quality, and a few surprise guests, will be on hand to judge the entries, and there will also be a People’s Choice vote to get everyone involved. Here are a few highlights:

Wagyu Dog Pasta Salad: A gourmet blend of wagyu hot dog slices with a flavorful pasta salad, sure to impress with its rich taste and elegant presentation.

Hamilton Walker’s is located at 201 N Neil St in Downtown Champaign and is a member of Champaign Center Partnership.

Pizza Hotdog: Central Illinois Bakehouse baguette, beef hotdog, house-made marinara, mozzarella, and pesto.

Goat Cheese & Pepperoni Pasta Salad: Creamy Prairie Fruits Farm goat cheese, heirloom tomato, pepperoni, arugula, and garlic confit.

Martinelli’s Market: Bakery & Deli is located at 500C N Walnut St in Downtown Champaign and is a member of Champaign Center Partnership

Housemade Hot Dog: Dry-aged beef topped with crème fraîche, chives, and caviar.

The Space is located at 1 E Main St, Ste 107 in Downtown Champaign

Expect mouthwatering entries from other local favorites like Suzu’s Japanese Bakery, Esquire Lounge, Tenkyu, Big Grove Tavern, and many more. Each dish is a testament to the creativity and culinary expertise that Champaign’s food scene is known for.

COMMUNITY ZONE: WHERE CREATIVITY MEETS COMMUNITY

Step into a world of vibrant colors and nature-inspired art at Clara De La Fuente’s booth. Discover original prints, sketches, and new additions like mousepads and luggage tags, perfect for bringing a piece of artistic flair into your everyday life.

Join for show invites & exclusive sales: EmailClub
Connect on IG: @claradelafuenteartist
Acrylic paintings | Prints | Commissions
 

For unique and eclectic gifts, look no further than Discardistry. Explore their collection of earrings, keychains, magnets, and enamel pins, all crafted from miniatures and guaranteed to add a playful touch to any occasion.

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Celebrate nostalgia and individual style with Good Ol’ Days’ unique clothing line. Handcrafted from start to finish, each piece embodies a blend of classic design and contemporary flair, ensuring that every garment tells a story.

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Savor the flavors of authentic Mexican cuisine courtesy of Juanitos Tacos. This locally-owned food truck brings the taste of Urbana to Champaign, offering up a delectable menu that’s sure to satisfy every appetite.

Prepare to be enchanted by Metamorpho Stitch’s crochet creations. From plushies to stylish head scarves and plant accessories, each item is crafted with meticulous care, adding a touch of handmade charm to your day.

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Experience sustainable fashion at its finest with The Swift Arrow’s upcycled apparel. Discover thrifted t-shirts, sweatshirts, and flannels that have been given new life through creative distressing and bleaching techniques, perfect for eco-conscious fashionistas.

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Indulge in self-care with The Wright Soapery’s artisanal soaps. Each bar is a work of art, handcrafted with love and attention to detail. Free from palm oil and packed with high-quality ingredients, these soaps promise a luxurious lather and a guilt-free pampering experience.

Instagram: @thewrightsoapery
Facebook: @thewrightsoapery
Pinterest: @thewrightsoapery
Email: thewrightsoapery@gmail.com

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Recuerditos by Lucero

Recuerditos, meaning “little memories,” is more than just a shop. It’s a journey inspired by Lucero’s deep love for Mexican artisanal crafts and a lifelong passion for finding hidden gems. What began as a family’s necessity to thrift blossomed into a mission to curate recovered, used, and new treasures from Mexico and beyond.

The Kid Zone is the perfect spot for families to enjoy a day of fun and entertainment. This year, we’re excited to offer a variety of games and possible water features to help the little ones have the best day ever. From interactive activities to playful challenges, there’s something for every child to enjoy. 

Prepare to be amazed as Aaron’s Party Balloons takes center stage in the Kid Zone. Watch in awe as balloon artist Aaron twists balloon animals and everything else you can imagine. From whimsical creatures to playful shapes, Aaron’s creations are sure to bring a smile to every child’s face.

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KARI'S OCCASIONS

Adding to the fun, Kari’s Occasions will be delighting kiddos with giant bubbles and face painting. Children will be enchanted by the magical bubbles floating through the air and thrilled to have their faces painted with vibrant designs. Kari’s Occasions ensures an atmosphere of fun and creativity, making it a memorable day for all the young attendees.

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Champaign StreetFest: Downtown Throwdown is coming Saturday, August 3, from 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM. There are still so many ways to get involved. We are still looking for sponsors, volunteers, Throwdown Food entries, and vendors. Visit the links below to join the fun:

We look forward to seeing you all out there for a day of community, creativity, and celebration!

Contact Jenna at Champaign Center Partnership with any questions by emailing director@champaigncenter.com